Middle Grades Education Purpose and Overall Goals of the Degree Program
Preparing the next generation of teachers is the mission of the School of Education. As the population in this region grows along with an increasing number of veteran teachers approaching retirement, there will be strong demand for qualified teacher candidates. In developing the program that produces teachers for the Middle Grades (4-8), the School of Education reached out to the partner school districts to identify critical content areas. The area school districts indicated a shortage in the areas of mathematics, science, and literacy. In the proposal that was approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, Gordon State College was approved to offer the Middle Grades Education Program with the qualification that candidates must choose to either concentrate on mathematics, science, or literacy. Thus Gordon State College and the School of Education are in the process of providing qualified teacher candidates for this region’s academic needs.
Through field experience with veteran teachers and student-teaching experiences in modern classrooms under mentor teachers, teacher-candidates gain confidence in their ability to lead and to teach in this region. They also learn what it means to “touch the future” through the lives of school children.
The vision of the School of Education is to prepare teachers who will make a difference in the lives of the children and in the communities they serve. Their careers will build on the foundations of competence and dispositions of character which were initially shaped during their professional preparation at Gordon State.
Who is a Gordon teacher? A Gordon teacher is one who possesses the abilities, skills, knowledge and confidence to inspire and enable each student to become a lifelong learner and reach his/her potential.
Outcomes for Successful Teacher Candidates
The ten outcomes listed below describe the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required of candidates. They are organized within the categories of the Georgia Framework for Teaching.
Content and Curriculum
The candidate demonstrates an accurate understanding of middle grades curriculum within the contexts of central concepts, tools of inquiry, structures and engagement of learners.
Knowledge of Students
The candidate demonstrates knowledge of educational foundations within the contexts of, law, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and technology.
The candidate demonstrates knowledge of learning theory within the contexts of adolescent development, family and parent dynamics, human exceptionalities and diversity.
Learning Environments, Planning and Instruction
The candidate is an advocate for the success of all adolescents in their care and provides nurturing guidance appropriate to their development.
The candidate demonstrates simplicity in articulation of the curriculum based upon understanding the complexity of learner needs and the systemic nature of assessment, planning, and accommodations in teaching strategies.
The candidate demonstrates an effective utilization of technology and curricular resources in the implementation of learning plans.
The candidate models expectations held for students in his/her communication, demeanor, commitment to personal growth, and sense of empathy.
The candidate collaborates with parents, other educators, and members of the community to improve the learning process for all students.
The candidate utilizes analysis of the individual student’s assessment to make adjustments in teaching to improve performance.
The candidate encourages students to take responsibility for their learning and provides multiple opportunities for them to develop proficiency.